Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Explaining Apple's blow out numbers is not rocket science

This is a pretty lightweight post, I will admit, and if you are an Apple hater I would recommend moving on. But it is what it is.

A lot of analysts today are struggling to explain Apple's mind boggling sales numbers. This morning I talked a bit about the 9+ million iPads sold and only mentioned in passing the lack of good Android alternatives. But what about the iPhone?
20.34 million iPhones is an amazing number, especially since I still remember talk in 2007 of Apple reaching the one millionth iPhone sale after 74 days of availability.

Daring Fireball points to this post which is a great mea culpa about their own forecast.

But the answer may lie in the comments where one reader talks about the quality of the product an the fact that few buyers express remorse for buying an iPhone.

I would go even further: Mac owners have known for a long time that buying a Mac is one of those no-brainer decisions, the only issue has always been price. Now I know a lot of Android owners will argue with this, as will PC owners, but I've always found that there are few regrets expressed from Apple buyers once they have pulled the trigger.

But should this is either a surprise or even an issue? Think about this issue from any other perspective: are BMW or Jaguar owners more satisfied or less satisfied with their car purchase than, say, a Chrysler owner? You'd scoff at the question knowing that the owner of a bright new Beemer pays a huge premium over the owner of a Chrysler. But so do Mac owners.

What has changed here is that Apple has managed to get a handle on is costs for its mobile devices in a very impressive way. An iPhone is only a slight premium over other smartphones, and an iPad is not more expensive than other tablets, though it still feels like the premium product.

The last time the economy was booming people used to talk about the Nordstrom factor: you'd rather shop at Nordstrom, but often could not based on cost. But when you did you seldom regretted the purchase.

Now I am sure I am biased on this issue. I've been an Apple customer since before the first Mac was introduced – that's a long time. But I was not an instant iPhone user. I had to wait a few months before I realized what was going on. Even now I am not an early adopter, the iPad being an exception.

But I recognize, like a lot of consumers, that ultimately the Apple purchase is a pretty safe one, and this is certainly driving these sales numbers.